BMWBLOG Test Drive: 2014 Lexus IS350

26 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on BMWBLOG Test Drive: 2014 Lexus IS350
Lexus IS350

BMWBLOG Test Drive: Lexus IS350

The entry sport sedan segment is one of the most hotly contested in the auto industry and not without reason. The

The entry level sedan segment is arguably one of the hotly contested arenas in the industry and not without good The expectations are high and buyers a veritable Swiss army with wheels. Modern sedans must do it all: adults, haul kids, …, return respectable economy, impress with looks inside and out and keep its happily ensconced in a leather-clad, thumping interior.

Sounds right? The leader of this BMW, have been at it the mid-1970’s and all luxury manufacturers Audi to Mercedes-Benz to Acura tried to crack the formula has kept BMW on top of this segment all of years. Lexus has taken turn at fighting the 3 Series its IS range in the United States for over a decade now and for MY2014 is out the big guns with the third IS.

Lexus was so eager to prove how the 2014 IS#8230;;that I was invited to the Pinehurst Resort in North for a launch that was one part lifestyle event and one part driving. Juxtaposed to the soft, roads around the well-kept golf course, we would see sort of performance scruples the new and IS350 by flinging it ‘round Speedway #8211; a former oval track.

After a night of dinner and with local artisans to craftsmanship as it ties into the new IS, our arrived the following morning in the of Rockingham under a veil of #8211; not quite ideal to put a new car through its paces. After a wait to let the rain clear and to drain from the tarmac, we given an introductory lap before turned lose to our own machinations of how to pilot the sport sedan the damp circuit. Interestingly, for the of comparison Lexus were enough to provide an example of the second generation IS350.

The New

Prior to jumping behind the the contrast of new versus old was more striking. Side by side, the IS feels more distinctive and a more purposeful stance as to the somewhat generic and, bland outgoing IS. The distinction of the new IS by way of the new trademark Lexus “spindle” up front flanked by optional swishes which double as accents to the HID headlamps as well as as running lights.

The front of car is a bit of a nod to the of the current generation GS (and of the rest of the styling of the rest of the range) with a similarly angular front air dam on the F Sport-equipped Moving down the side of the IS a cut moves from the tail down through the lower interrupting the slab-sided doors giving a slimmer appearance to the IS and the front to rear. Speaking of the this is the only element of the car feels as though it’s a and tucked version of the outgoing #8211; stretched a bit here and to look newer if not more

Slipping behind the wheel the feels as refreshingly different as the The most notable elements are design cues in the center and dashboard lifted straight the LFA, Lexus’ mind-bending car, and that’s a great The central gauge is also from the LFA and while a bit silly, had ogling it as it would illuminate upon the “mode” dialed the car.

Going from old to the contrast is massive with the feel of the 2014 IS interior the seat feel very like a cockpit versus the seats of the old car. All controls are and never more than a reach away. The cockpit is amplified as Lexus has dropped the position by 20mm for the driver’s simultaneously improving access to as well improving the overall position.

At 6’4 I found the new IS to provide far headroom while I was nearly the headliner in the old model. In all honesty, I the fact that the fighter interior shrank around me to most cars in this that have large, expanses of unused interior The IS’s interior feels at a younger demographic which potentially be off-putting to fans of the IS.

Upon getting seated at the wheel of a crimson IS350 F I flicked the small knob to the of the gear lever and dialed the throttle, suspension and steering up to 11. through, I began to explore the of adhesion of the still-damp track as as the limits of the IS350 F Sport. – the steering was numb and fairly though it carried a nice to it at speed as I began to dial the into puddle-ridden corners.

while the steering wasn’t as as I would like I found the to be quite communicative.


By having a bit of faith in my steering – the rest of the car would communicate via the of my pants to tell me how the car was responding to my giving the car a very gradual, feel before the rear begin to let go. The dynamics of the car were by the fact that Lexus the rear suspension of the latest GS F and tucked it under the rear of the 2014 IS. Jumping from new to old was though.

The outgoing IS350, by (in fairness it was an all-wheel-drive car!) was a understeering mess around the – almost to the point that enjoyed testing the limits of how out of they could get the old car through a

Wrapped in my self-cooling we used the USB plug in the console to in an iPhone 5 and start pumping the Daft Punk album the 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark speaker system. Navigating the roads of central North proved to be a very relaxing in the IS350’s interior. At low speeds the was quiet and comfortable (not to more spacious as 1.6 inches of were added to the rear but when requested with a right foot, you could summon a metallic bark the exhaust as the 3.5-liter V6 hustled us an open expanse of asphalt.

My only disappoint with the came in playing with the navigation system and its dreadful navigator used to input into the car. Juxtaposed to the simplistic dial used on MMI system or BMW’s iDrive, the controller felt like a joystick that made a location more difficult and than it should have

That, coupled with the interface of the system was disappointing – not to take away completely its merits such as a free subscription to HD Radio and Real-Time and Weather updates. Lexus threw in cool, if not a little features like a gauge tells you how near or far you are to the next or, when the gas tank is running helps identify nearby gas Overall, the system works but could greatly benefit a second look at how the user with it.

In trying out the variety of present – the IS350, with or the F Sport package, makes the sense from a cost vs. perspective. While the IS250 is a car but in the entry level model it will find very competition from BMW’s 320i/328i pricing and performance making the IS350 worth the $5,000 premium while a few grand less than the

Beyond the options, the 8-speed found only in the IS350 models only) proves a far alternative to the not-so-intelligent legacy automatic. In most cases the gearbox, sourced from the IS-F, proved more capable of actuating spot-on changes than those of the It’s a shame that the and all-wheel-drive models are excluded using this wonderful

Stepping out of the 2014 IS and looking it is clear that Lexus has incredible leaps forward to the new IS competitive within the entry sport sedan segment. It has younger styling while on the relying on a chic overhaul of the dull interior. The overhauled is matched by revitalized chassis thanks in part to the rear of the GS F Sport and the trick VDIM tying in all stability and control

While Lexus missed the on some things like the fuel economy (combined MPG of 24 for the and 22MPG for the IS350) and the somewhat onboard system overall the car prove an excellent counterpoint to the German rivals. The 2014 IS has a bit of for everyone whether you’re for a tech-laden car to wow you or just something can spice up the daily commute. of what you’re looking for in the new IS, great to see Lexus stepping out of the of its stuffy, boring persona and the IS proves Lexus’ ability to do so.

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